Sunday, 30 August 2015

Feminism - some non PC thoughts

Prompted by the reading of a book containing a collection of feminist articles published over the last forty years, some thought has been given to the nature of the feminist agenda. Feminism is treated with some considerable suspicion by those questioning the politically correct agenda as it is a cornerstone of the cultural Marxist attempt to undermine the traditional structures of society as well as promoting the demonization of men.

The new feminism started in the late 1960s, reached a peak in the mid 1980s and then to some extent waned over the next couple of decades. However, in recent years a virulent strain has emerged that has become rampant, focusing mostly on controlling and attacking male heterosexuality. Some of the early feminist objectives were quite reasonable such as equal pay for equal work, or better child care facilities. Others are more dubious such as equal pay for work of 'equal value', and demands for equal opportunity which very quickly morphed into demands for equality of outcome.

Feminists are aware that they form only a very small proportion of women, and many of the articles lamented this fact. But because they are backed by the liberal establishment they have an influence far exceeding their numerical strength. One striking feature running through the majority of articles is the sense of insecurity these women feel about themselves. They seem to suffer form a collective persecution complex which they then blame on the 'patriarchal' society which supposedly oppresses them.

Some of the articles made valid points about the behaviour of men, notably their predilection for aggression, belittling insults and even violence over relatively trivial issues, and their judging of women through the prism of their sexual appeal. It is to be hoped that this assessment does not cover the majority of men, but alas it is likely to include a sizeable minority, particularly younger men. In this respect men do need to get their house in order and try to become more like true gentlemen, a concept that is in danger of becoming obsolete in our society's increasingly crude macho vision of masculinity.

Of particular concern to the feminists are the issues of pornography, rape and domestic violence, which to some extent they consider to be intertwined. Pornography is a much misused word, which covers anything from the depiction of scantily clad women to the most demeaning and degrading of sexual images, little distinction being made by feminists (and some others) between the two extremes. Feminists hold the eccentric view that an appreciation of feminine physical beauty 'objectifies' all women. No distinction is made either between the violent rape by a stranger and 'date rape' where the two parties know one another and may already be intimate. On domestic violence the statistics show that a significant proportion of the perpetrators are women themselves. With regard to the latter two concerns women have to some extent themselves to blame by their poor choice of men. It is unfortunate that the more loutish men seem to have the least trouble in pulling women, too many of whom dismiss more considerate and sensitive men as wimps.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Judges v Politicians

Some controversial judicial decisions have raised alarm amongst Westminster politicians and are worth examining. The first is the decision of the European Court of Human Rights requiring British prisoners to be given the vote. The second is the decision of the British Supreme Court that persons on the Sex Offenders Register should have the right to appeal against their continued inclusion on the register. It has taken politicians a long time to wake up to the anti-democratic agenda of the courts.

With regard to the prisoner voting issue, we know from the recent past that not all prisoners actually committed the offence for which they were convicted, that some prisoners should not be there because their offence does not warrant a prison sentence, and that some prisoners are there for actions which should not be criminal at all. With these caveats in place there can be no grounds whatsoever for allowing prisoners the vote. They should not be granted an input into the law making process, since they have shown contempt for the law by actions which in most cases are seriously criminal. In short these people are outlaws, and it is perfectly reasonable that they are treated as such during their time behind bars.

On the matter of the Sex Offenders Register it is unclear why this is needed in the first place. It is a relatively recent creation and breaches the traditional principle that once a sentence has been served, the guilty have paid their debt to society. They should not have to continue paying it. We do not have registers for murderers, for violent offenders, for muggers, for fraudsters or for burglars, all regarded by most people as serious or very serious offences.

The Sex Offenders Register includes those convicted of very serious offences such as the violent rape of a stranger, or the sexual molestation of children under the age of puberty, for which the perpetrators can rightly expect a long prison sentence when caught. It also includes people who should never have come before the courts, such as older youths having physical relations with a younger teenage girlfriend. Both categories are lumped together, and in some deranged minds are treated as equally wrong.

The reason we have a Sex Offenders Register is because, unlike other serious criminal offences, some sex crimes such as rape have been politicised, and others have become the focus of mass hysteria caused by the paedophile scare. Virtually everyone on the register is male and it is very difficult to believe that a register that included the same proportion of females would be tolerated. Sex crimes can change over time, for example until relatively recently a male engaging in what was quaintly termed a 'gross indecency' with a fifteen year old girl committed no offence, but he did if it was with a seventeen year old youth. Now the positions have been reversed. It is difficult to understand why such relatively harmless activity should be a matter for the courts, or the self righteous pontificating of zealous officialdom.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Some examples of PC madness

The examples below demonstrate the extent to which Britain is now in thrall to the extremities of political correctness.

Nativity plays used to be occasions of innocence, enjoyed by parents and children alike. But not any more, as a consequence of the paranoia over paedophiles that has take such a grip over those in authority. One parent at a school in Leicestershire made it clear to the head that he intended to take photographs of his child's appearance in such a play, regardless of the school's policy on the matter. The school responded by calling in the police and the parent was threatened with a breach of the peace order.

Other victims of the same hysteria were a group of middle aged and elderly lady volunteers responsible for the flower arrangements at Gloucester cathedral. Because they share the same toilet facilities as some choir boys, the cathedral authorities deemed it necessary that the lady volunteers should all undergo CRB checks. Five of the ladies quite rightly refused to comply with this gratuitously insulting requirement, and the cathedral has now dispensed with their services.

A teacher in Birmingham, showing a sense of civic responsibly, intervened in a dispute between two groups of children, which took place some distance away from her own school. In the heat of the moment, when she was attempting to separate the two factions, she described one group as 'white trash'. She was overheard and reported to the authorities, and was later convicted of a 'hate crime'. It is not clear from the press report what the race of the teacher is, but it must be assumed she is non white, given that it is presumably not yet a criminal act to make disparaging comments (which is what occurred here) about other people of one's own race.

Until relatively recently all the above situations would have been considered by most normal people as being wholly unremarkable, and certainly not requiring the intervention of the law. It was assumed that people could be trusted to act responsibly in how they conducted themselves, and institutions had confidence that the chances of anything untoward occurring were so slim as not to give rise to any concern. Today a culture of suspicion is all pervasive, the authorities assuming that people must be acting from the basest of motives, however harmless their activities, unless they can provide hard evidence to the contrary, which is impossible. As a result we are incrementally losing our freedoms, and are heading towards a police state, with the public informers and collaborators in their own oppression.

Friday, 21 August 2015

State control of private behaviour

Traditionally, it has been considered a fundamental principle of the British justice system that the punishment should fit the crime. The continuing national paedophile hysteria has resulted in a significant undermining of this principle. A case in point is the 15 month prison sentence given to a 26 year old female music teacher for 'sexual activities' with a 15 year old girl pupil. Unusually, in such circumstances, the majority of readers commenting on the Daily Mail website, considered this sentence to be excessive. However, a significant minority supported it because of the breach of trust involved, that a man in a similar situation would have received an even longer sentence, and that children of this age are too emotionally immature to consent to sexual relations.

On the breach of trust this should be a matter between the school as employer and the employee. It should not be a matter for the State or its agencies since employers should be trusted to use their judgement, which should not be usurped by state bureaucrats and certainly not by the courts. In the event the school dismissed the teacher for breach of trust and this decision is proportionate to the offence given that the rules on this kind of behaviour would have been well known beforehand. Nevertheless, in taking this decision the school has lost an otherwise excellent music teacher, which will be to the detriment of pupils generally.

The critics are undoubtedly right that a man in the same circumstances would have received a longer sentence. However, the issue is whether it is appropriate for the State to regulate the private and personal conduct of its citizens in this way and then impose a punitive and disproportionate sentence without any evidence of harm caused, as has happened here. Many adolescent girls often have 'crushes' on older girls and teachers, and any physical intimacy that might ensue is likely to be completely harmless.

The question of whether younger teenagers are too emotionally immature to consent to sexual relations gets to the crux of the matter. They seem to have made their views on this fairly clear. According to many surveys, over a third of teenagers under the age of consent are 'sexually active' amounting to some 500,000 individuals. Given that it takes two to tango, this potentially amounts to nearly one million 'paedophiles' in our midst, as defined by some of the more zealous hardliners. Regrettably, their views coincide with the current orthodoxies of the criminal justice system and child protection industry. However, the authorities are happy to provide contraception to these same teenagers, and to compel them to attend explicit sex 'education' lessons.

One of the more puzzling fictions promoted by the tabloid media is that sexual relations for those over 16 are a fulfilling, liberating recreational activity, but for teenagers below that age it becomes a traumatic experience, requiring extensive counselling. Many European countries have an age of consent of 14 and Britain should follow suit, enabling the authorities to concentrate on the protection of genuine children, and allow young adults to take responsibility for their personal lives. As the 14 year old Helen Shapiro once said 'Don't treat me like a child'.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Gently does it

The extent to which Cultural Marxists will go to propagate their ideology should never be underestimated. As case in point is the way they have hijacked TV drama, particularly the output of the BBC, to help achieve their objectives. A good example of this is the police series Inspector George Gently, about the criminal investigations of a detective inspector set in the North East in the mid to late 1960s.

The choice of this period is a good one since it is at the threshold of the cultural revolution in which the then traditional conservative establishment was destroyed and supplanted by the politically correct regime of our time. This allows the BBC to focus on the 'enlightened' attitudes of today, and to contrast them with the supposedly uncaring response of previous generations.

The particular programme under consideration featured the murder of an elderly man, who ran a children’s home which closed in 1947. During investigations, evidence was uncovered that child sexual abuse had occurred at the home. It emerged that the murdered care home owner, and a local police inspector on the management board of the home, were together responsible for sexually abusing ten year old children. The local doctor was also implicated by covering up the injuries. The underlying message is that during this era the authorities routinely connived at this abuse and that the children were silenced because no one would believe them.

Despite the underlying propaganda message the programme was intelligently scripted and acted. However, there are a many serious flaws. The dialogue refers to 'paedophiles' and 'child abuse'. Both these terms are of relatively recent origin. In the period in which the programme was set the reference would have been to 'child molesters' and 'child molestation', used by professionals and the public alike. Contrary to the impression given, the molestation of ten year old children was as serious a crime then as it is now.

Although it is clearly the case that the murdered care home owner would have had the opportunity to molest young girls, it is stretching the bounds of credibility that he could have entered into a deviant partnership with the police inspector, whose preference was for young boys. The police inspector (who is married) adopted the boy he was abusing, an unlikely scenario since boys soon become adults and will then likely seek retribution. The elderly care home owner ludicrously tried to resume his relationship with the girl as an adult woman – again highly unlikely as he is supposed to be a paedophile. There were a number of other actions which do not ring true.

The best protection against child abuse is support for marriage. Statistics show that children are more than thirty times more at risk in homes with a live-in boyfriend or step-father. This is one factor that today’s politically correct regime refuses to consider given their crass ideological support for the notion that families 'come in all shapes and sizes', code for feckless single mothers with a succession of deadbeat boyfriends. In 1964 support for marriage was very strong and there was far less child abuse.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Homosexual Privilege

Nothing illustrates the capture of our society by Cultural Marxists more than the issue of homosexuality. Until 1967 homosexual relations between men were illegal. The clear justification for decriminalization was the removal of the threat of blackmail and the belief that the state had no business in policing the sexual behaviour of its adult citizens. All those who spoke in favour of this reform in parliament made clear their repugnance at the practice of homosexuality, and many MPs opposed this change. For many years governments were reluctant to act on the recommendation of the 1957 Wolfenden Report to decriminalize homosexual relations between adult males because of the perceived public hostility.

The issue has been brought into focus by the decision of Edinburgh's social services to remove two young children from their grandparents and place them for adoption with two homosexual men. The reasons given are that the grandparents, at 59 and 46, are too old, and both suffer from health problems, namely angina and diabetes. Social services rejected several heterosexual couples, declaring that the two homosexual men would provide a caring and loving home for the children. Current legislation makes no distinction between homosexual and heterosexual adopters, and so similar decisions could be taken by any local authority regardless of political control. This decision raises two important issues, the rights of grandparents and other close kin on adoption, and the suitability of same sex couples to adopt.

It should be said that the grandparents do not appear to have been wholly successful in their child rearing. The mother of the children is a 26 year old former heroin addict who was on methadone substitute. The children are from two different fathers, one committed suicide and the other has abandoned his child. Nevertheless, the fecklessness and stupidity of the mother is not something that the grandparents can necessarily be blamed for, given that the full circumstances are not known.

The reasons given by social services for not allowing the grandparents to adopt are clearly bogus, since many couples of this age and with health problems make good parents. There should be a strong presumption that grandparents, and other close kin, should adopt, unless there are very clear reasons to the contrary. In the current case the children have bonded with the grandparents, and allowing them to adopt would also enable the mother to remain in contact and perhaps resume her parenting if she overcomes her addiction.

It is clear that social services have chosen these two homosexual men for politically correct ideological reasons, and probably also to meet government targets for adoption by same sex couples. During consultations, over 90% of respondents opposed homosexual adoption, and a similar proportion of those commenting on newspaper websites appear to share this view. A future government should legislate to ensure that all adoptions are to married heterosexual couples as the evidence overwhelmingly shows that they will provide the best guarantee of stability and security, as well a being consistent with what nature intended namely providing a mother and father.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Helen Suzman - a retrospective appraisal

The veteran anti apartheid campaigner Helen Suzman was almost the only white South African feted by the British liberal establishment in the seventies. The British media and political class united to praise her opposition to the apartheid system. The Guardian considered that she 'single-handedly carried the anti-racism banner in South Africa’s apartheid parliament, her star the brightest in the liberal firmament'. Peter Hain, the Labour MP who led a number of anti-apartheid campaigns in Britain, declared that Mrs Suzman 'kept up her calls of protest when all others had been extinguished…..she was a doughty champion of human rights and a thorn in the side of the apartheid government in some of the most difficult, darkest times'. Is this unanimity of opinion justified, or are there rarely voiced arguments on the other side?

Between 1961 and 1974 she was the sole Progressive Party MP, opposed to the apartheid system.The other 164 MPs supported apartheid. In addition she was the only woman MP, so in fairness she must have demonstrated considerable courage in standing up for what she believed, in this clearly hostile environment. During this time voting was confined to the white electorate and the large black majority was completely disfranchised. However, historically this situation was no different to the rest of sub Saharan Africa, which until the 1960s had been almost wholly under European colonial rule.

Clearly disenfranchising people on the basis of race cannot be endorsed uncritically, since it gives the vote to semi literate white louts, but denies it to a professional lawyer such as Nelson Mandela. However, such a viewpoint in the South African situation would be crassly simplistic, since the overwhelming majority of whites were opposed to extending voting rights to the black population because they feared the consequences, namely the destruction and impovershiment of the country which they and their ancestors had created. It is very easy for armchair liberals several thousand miles away to denounce the evils of apartheid, safe in the knowledge that they will remain unaffected by what they advocate.

The consequences of majority rule in Black African countries are clear for all to see, the most glaring example being Zimbabwe, now a collapsed state but which under white rule was the most prosperous and crime free in Africa. Since the end of apartheid South Africa has become the murder, rape and robbery capital of the world. Whites are leaving in record numbers. Mrs Suzman represented the very prosperous Houghton constituency in Johannesburg. It now has to be policed and extensively patrolled by private security firms, paid at great expense by the local residents whose movements are now severely constrained, following a spate of shootings in the area. The local electorate, which idealistically kept re-electing Mrs Suzman, has seen its utopian dream come true.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

The criminalization of parenting

A disturbing news item highlighting the reach of the British state involves a senior nurse at a public school who was reported to police by her 15 year old son for smacking her other son aged 10. According to reports the mother hit the younger son 'on the bottom' after he was abusive and repeatedly swore at her. As a result of the call to police the mother and her husband were both arrested and held in a cell for 32 hours. Both were released without charge and were notified by police that no further action would be taken.

This incident would have been disturbing enough in itself but it led to still more sinister consequences. As a result of the police involvement, the local Social Services department was contacted who then took the decision to put the 10 year old boy and his younger sister on the child protection register. The public school then sacked the mother from her post as senior nurse claiming that 'the school’s reputation could be severely damaged in the event that parents became aware that the children of the school’s senior nurse were on the child protection register.' The mother herself commented 'I have been a practising nurse for 25 years with an unblemished career. I have no idea why my children are still on the register'.

This episode illustrated the extent to which the State, with its cultural Marxist social agenda, can now destroy the independence of families and the reputation of parents. Perhaps the most chilling aspect of the case is the way the 15 year old was willing to 'shop' his parents to the authorities, in a manner reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, or the totalitarian regimes of North Korea and Mao’s Cultural Revolution. The reason he could do this is the campaign by the Marxist left to augment the powers of the State and its functionaries in the guise of 'protecting children'. On the face of it nobody could object to the protection of children – so what is the problem?

Today the child protection industry is big business. For example, the NSPCC 'Full Stop' campaign raised over £250 million, and the charity is immensely influential in influencing government policy. The fundamental premise underpinning their campaign is that all forms of physical chastisement, including smacking, constitute 'child abuse', a term of relatively modern origin, and much broader in scope than child cruelty, which the NSPCC was originally formed to combat. The ultimate objective is to make the smacking of children a criminal offence.

We have seen the result of this approach in schools, which are now plagued with problems of indiscipline. Extending this principle into family life will criminalise parents on a grand scale, and undermine their authority since parents will wish to avoid being reported to the authorities by their own children. The losers will be children who will be denied proper discipline. The winners will be those seeking the state control of family life.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Sharia Law

It is now becoming clear that the more committed adherents of Islam are seeking to encourage a wider acceptance of sharia law in British society. Initially this would be confined to Muslims, but the long term objective amongst the more radical elements is to impose sharia law more widely on the rest of British society. In a poll of British Muslims nearly a third supported the introduction of sharia law in Britain. Some years ago the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, created a furore with his suggestion that the introduction of sharia law into Britain is 'inevitable'. He said that giving Islamic law official status in the UK would help achieve social cohesion because some Muslims did not relate to the British legal system. The leaders of the three main political parties distanced themselves from his remarks, and he was roundly condemned by much of the national media.

In one sense the Archbishop is clearly right. Given the craven surrender of all governments to the demands of the race relations industry it can only be a matter of time before sharia law is fully recognised in the British legal system. Sharia compliant forms of banking are already allowed and Muslim men can claim benefits for more than one wife. However, this is not the sense that the Archbishop had in mind. Instead, he considers that sharia law is inevitable because he believes that this would be the right thing to do, which is why he became the focus of so much opprobrium.

The issue is a difficult one. How far do you allow minorities to do their own thing without it causing difficulties to the wider society? For the past thirty or so years governments have been promoting multiculturalism. The liberal establishment has finally noticed that this creates division, and thus potential conflict, within society. The response has been to promote the concept of 'community cohesion'. The problem with this new approach is that it requires a more proactive intervention and encouragement by the authorities, which is likely to be resisted or ignored by the general population, including minorities. In contrast, multiculturalism was a more laissez faire approach that allowed communities themselves to develop as they please.

Many of the critics of the Archbishop condemned him on the grounds that it would create one law for Muslims and another for the rest of the population. However, acknowledgement of religious belief has long been a feature of government policy. Sikhs are exempt from the requirement to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, there are many Catholic, Church of England, Jewish and now Muslim schools, Catholic doctors can refuse to carry out abortions. Many of the Archbishop’s critics opposed to the recognition of sharia law were the same people who supported the campaign of Catholic adoption agencies to refuse placing children with same sex couples. Thus their views were not based on consistent principles but rather their own cultural or religious perspective.

If we want to encourage a genuinely pluralistic society then logic suggests that sharia law should be allowed if this is what the majority of Muslims want to see happen in their community. However, this would be ultimately destructive of a shared national identity. This is a fix which liberals have brought on themselves (and the rest of us) by their blind encouragement of open-ended mass third world immigration. The law of cause and effect will soon allow us to reap the whirlwind on this.